Southern Cross SEPTEMBER 2021

Page 1



We need to pray PRINT POST APPROVED 100021441 ISSN 2207-0648


Instagram disciples and online youth • New Dean End-of-life hope • Bible verses for right now

Prayer is a high priority in these troubling ad ys.

Lockdown brings us to our knees

Prayer is everywhere, and not just for the pandemic. Extended other] as brothers and sisters in Christ, approaching our Heavenly periods of isolation at home have meant that people, stripped of a Father who loves to give good gifts in response to the prayers of his busy life of commuting, events and travel, are putting prayer at the people” (see the Lockdown Prayer here). forefront of their day. The public profile of prayer during the pandemic – and the fact that “One of the great things about Christian prayer is that it makes it even has non-Christians interested – has been noticed by social us look up and look out,” says Archbishop Kanishka Raffel, who is media giant Facebook, which is now rolling out an experimental urging Sydney Anglicans to prayer. “We look up to the Lord. We prayer request feature. This has received a mixed reception from look out to the world and, where we see grief and trouble and all Christian leaders, who worry about security and privacy, as well as the challenges that we’re facing, we’re able to bring them in prayer the motives of a multi-billion dollar company. before the God who is God of everything.” Archbishop Raffel says contact, as well as prayer, makes a In the second week of August the Archbishop and bishops difference. “I think one of the, if you like, COVID silver linings organised regional meetings of church leaders across the Diocese has been that we’ve remembered our neighbours and our to pray for our locked-down communities. neighbourhoods. We’ve realised that we have so much in common, Archbishop Raffel also joined other church and community leaders and there’s so much that we can offer to each other. in a special prayer event on August 18. The group included former “The call of Jesus to love our neighbour as ourselves reminds us Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, and former Wallabies captain again to look out. So many people in the community have been Nick Farr-Jones. doing some shopping for their neighbour or making a phone call “All Christians have this privilege of being able to approach God in to encourage somebody with conversation or just to share news to prayer, and it’s one of the wonderful things that we can do across check in. There are a number of ways of doing this on Zoom or by our various traditions and denominations,” the Archbishop says. social media or whatever you have, just to stay connected, to keep “We have this privilege in common, and so we stand alongside [each people informed or to check on each other.” SC

SouthernCross September 2021

volume 27 number 8

Publisher: Anglican Media Sydney PO Box W185 Parramatta Westfield 2150 NSW P: 02 8860 8860 F: 02 8860 8899 E:

Managing Editor: Russell Powell Editor: Judy Adamson Art director: Stephen Mason Advertising Manager: Kylie Schleicher P: 02 8860 8850 E: Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement. Inclusion of advertising material is at the discretion of the publisher.

Subscriptions: Garry Joy

Missed August

Download it here: 2

Southern Cross  ?

P: 02 8860 8861 E:

$44.00 per annum (Australia) Printed by: Southern Colour


September 2021



Paul Dudley



Mark Earngey


Pause to pray with rA chbishop aR el.

Prayr and compassion or ghanisan A Russell Powell

“Love your neighbour”: Archbishop Raffel on The Project.

Archbishop Raffel has led the Diocese in prayer for the nation Charleston, the Archbishop prayed “for Christian brothers and

of Afghanistan, especially for vulnerable people, in response to the takeover by the Taliban. In a video distributed to churches in the days after the takeover, the Archbishop spoke of “scenes of terrible desperation and chaos. Afghan people, including many who have come to Australia as refugees, are in great distress”. Christian pastors in Afghanistan have also appealed for urgent prayer, especially as many mission agencies have evacuated their workers. “We have heard the voices, especially of women, who are afraid and uncertain of what their future holds,” Archbishop Raffel said. “We know, too, that Christians have been serving in aid and development, health and education and seeing the Lord’s church built. “For the families of the 41 soldiers who gave their lives, and for soldiers who returned from Afghanistan bearing the scars of war, and their families, these have been days of anger, grief and disbelief.” In the prayer, written by former army officer the Rev Mark

sisters in Afghanistan. Preserve their lives and strengthen their witness in this land of deep spiritual darkness and despair”. In media appearances, including The Project on Channel Ten, he called on the Federal Government to accept more Afghan refugees and to offer permanent resettlement to Afghan asylum seekers already in Australia. The nation should be “as compassionate as we can”, Archbishop Raffel said on the program. “Jesus said love your neighbour as yourself, and after 20 years of involvement in Afghanistan, I think we ought to have no hesitation in saying that these people are our neighbours. “That’s especially true of those who served alongside Australian Defence Force personnel and assisted us in the things we were doing there. “We went to Afghanistan to secure the freedom of Afghan people, and now we need to bring as many as we can, as generously as we can, so that they can share our freedom.” SC

Rach ou in ockdown Churches are getting creative as the COVID lockdown drags

on around NSW. At St Matthew’s, Manly, one of the members suggested putting up a sign asking for prayer requests via text, and the church wasted no time putting the idea into action. The prominent location of St Matt’s was put to good use. After liaising with the local council, two banners were erected: one across the front of the church and a larger one that now stretches across the beachfront end of The Corso in Manly. In the week since the banners were put up, the church has had many heartfelt requests for prayer from people in the commmunity. Texts are sent to a secure number where they are retrieved by one of the ministers at St Matt’s, who immediately replies with a prayerful message. The requests are then edited and shared with a group that continues to pray for the issue. The Manly initiative follows a similar banner erected during last year’s lockdown by St Mark’s, Freshwater. The banner was put up in Freshwater Village declaring that St Mark’s was praying for the community. SC Has your church found a creative way to help care for the community during lockdown? Email us and we’ll share the story. 4


September 2021




Judy Adamson

“People should remain in their faithfulness to Jesus”: Samuel Majok.

Our brothers and sisters in Oakhurst need us. They need our

Members of the South Sudanese congregation and community are looking to Pastor Majok during this time, regularly giving his name to medical teams as their contact person. He has fielded calls from hospitals as far away as Canberra, where a South Sudanese man in intensive care put him down as next of kin. “Things have become very complicated, because I cannot be everywhere,” he says. Rector of the parish, the Rev Jason Ramsay, adds that “the wider church community at Oakhurst has been very concerned for our brothers and sisters, and our hearts break for them as well. We’re doing whatever we can to support them, and we welcome everyone’s prayers.” SC

Samuel Majok asks for our prayers: • for Mr Deng and his family; • for the physical and financial effects of COVID on other South Sudanese families;

Chaplaincy and pastoral care positions at Minto Porter Lodge is Anglicare’s newest residential aged care home, located in Sydney’s South-West in the suburb of Minto. If you have a heart for serving seniors, this is where you can do the best work of your life. Provide spiritual, emotional and social support for residents.

• for people supporting and caring for those in need, that they would have strength, encouragement and not get burned out; and

Find out more

• for those still able to work, that “God would protect them in the workplace and also provide their basic needs”.

9421 5344


September 2021


prayers. The pastor of the parish’s South Sudanese congregation, the Rev Samuel Majok, is aware of 15 families in the congregation and wider community whose lives and livelihoods have been turned upside down by contracting COVID. “The situation in my church is not good,” he says. “I do encourage people that they should remain in their faithfulness to Jesus Christ, but it’s a devastating situation.” He explains that each family has several children, and while four or five of the families have gone through their two-week isolation period and been subsequently cleared of the virus, the rest are still confined to home. This has been especially distressing for the family of his assistant pastor, John Deng, whose COVID-positive wife Arop Mayen collapsed on August 22 and was on life support at Blacktown Hospital until September 3, when she died. They have nine children, and not even Mr Deng could visit her as he is COVID positive himself. “This breaks my heart,” Mr Majok says. “No one can come to the hospital, and no one can come to John’s house either. I’d be very happy to see our people support John’s family with care and video calls because nobody can be there [in person].” He is also worried about the financial status of the families affected, as most of the breadwinners don’t have jobs that allow them to work from home. They work in aged care, in factories or other manual jobs that require their physical presence, have come home infectious and COVID has spread among the family unit. Once confined to home, they are unable to provide income for their loved ones in Sydney and overseas – many are supporting family members in refugee camps in South Sudan and Kenya.


Anglican Aid sponsorship helps theological students around the ow rld.

Mor han 100 Bib cog sudns undd in 10 monhs Supported during their training: Students at St Patrick’s Bible College in Toliara, Madagascar.

Tara Sing John and Heather Lance believe every minister should have Bible colleges in countries such as Egypt, Nepal, Kenya, South Sudan,

the opportunity to get a good theological education, no matter where they live in the world. They, along with numerous other individuals, Bible study groups and churches, have signed up to Anglican Aid’s Bible college student sponsorship program, helping theological students across the world access the training they need for a lifetime of ministry. More than 100 Bible college students have been sponsored since the program launched in November last year. “If people can be trained properly with good teaching, that’s a wonderful thing,” says Mr Lance, who attends church at Sans Souci. “We’ve always thought we have so much opportunity to know Jesus here [in Sydney]. We’ve learned so much from training here. I was struck by the fact that in many countries, Anglican Aid has found good training colleges for ministry that are Bible-based. To fund a person [to study] in their own culture has advantages.” The combination of a simple lifestyle and a big heart for seeing people saved motivated the Lances to sponsor Jean Rafalimanana’s education at St Patrick’s Anglican College in Madagascar. “We are blessed to own our home in retirement and have quite enough to live on, and especially so in lockdown,” Mr Lance says. “In any case, we rarely went out to restaurants – I love my wife’s cooking! The difference is now we can’t get up to see the grandkids on the Gold Coast. “The Lord has been good to us, and it’s by his grace that we can help others to some extent. It’s all his grace, not us.” As well as contributing financially to Mr Rafalimanana’s Bible college experience, the Lances keep up with how his studies are going, and pray regularly for his ministry in Madagascar. “We don’t want to sound like we’re great prayer warriors, but we certainly pray as we write letters, and he’s included in our prayers,” Mr Lance says. “I just want to encourage him. He’s already doing some ministry in [his] church... He has been a catechist in his church and he wants to go on to be ordained.” When you include the Bible college student sponsorship program, Anglican Aid is now supporting more than 500 theological students across the globe. Sponsored students are studying towards a certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree or higher award at trusted 6

Chile, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda and Uganda. Beshoy Wageh Adawy Mikhail is an Egyptian student who has been able to pursue studies at the Alexandria School of Theology thanks to the Anglican Aid program. He is grateful for the huge impact theological education has already made on his life and ministry. “My heart has changed,” he says. “I now have a better understanding for God’s word. I research more to understand and deepen my relationship with God. Studying at Alexandria School of Theology is a life-changing experience. I now see the Bible with a new perspective. What I learned helped me to see the responsibility that I bear towards the people in my church.” David Mponda from Malawi is also thankful for his sponsorship, as without it neither he nor his diocese could afford to fund his studies. He is currently working towards a Diploma in Theology at Bunda Bible College in Tanzania. “The sponsorship is helping me in many areas like tuition fees, accommodation, medical, and also basic needs while at the college,” he says. “I have seen the changes in my understanding on how I can interpret the Bible as the word of God. This has come because of the effort that our lecturers are imparting to us... My aim is to master the New Testament and Greek.” The level of support for the students is a joy to Anglican Aid’s CEO the Rev Canon Tim Swan, as his own experience on the mission field showed him how challenging it can be for people to access theological study. “One thing I learned from my 10 years as a Church Missionary Society missionary, teaching in a Bible college in Chile, was [not only] the massive need for good theological education in the developing world, but the difficulty in affording it,” he says. “I’m thrilled that many Sydney Anglicans are now sponsoring students... This is already leading to transformation in churches around the world.” Mr and Mrs Lance consider it a great blessing to be able to contribute to the theological education of someone on the other side of the globe. “Life doesn’t work if you do things for yourself,” Mr Lance says. “You get much joy when you can do something for other people.” SC SouthernCross

September 2021


N wDWapsnw W oe W eongo orSydnWy

Russell Powell The Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, has appointed the the confidence of Archbishop Kanishka and the Cathedral Chapter


September 2021

to serve the people of St Andrew’s in the heart of Sydney. It has been a privilege to provide a voice to the city of Wollongong in the name of Jesus and his followers, and I look forward to trying to offer the same perspective to the great city of Sydney, where I grew up.” He is married to Karyn and has three adult daughters. SC

Supporting your independence with home care Anglicare At Home is here to support you when you need it, in your home and in the community.


Rev Canon Sandy Grant (above), of St Michael’s Cathedral in Wollongong, to be the new Dean of Sydney. He will be the 13th dean – a post with a history stretching back to 1858, when William Macquarie Cowper was appointed to the role. Canon Grant has been the senior minister of St Michael’s since 2004 and will take up his ministry at St Andrew’s Cathedral in December. “Sandy is known and loved by his congregation and in the wider Wollongong Region for his evangelistic heart, his thoughtful and carefully applied preaching, and his wise and attentive pastoral care,” said Archbishop Raffel, himself a former Dean. “Sandy is diligent, passionate and thoughtful. He is a person of conviction but humble and servant-hearted.” Canon Grant has been involved in a wide range of social issues in Wollongong and beyond. He has chaired the Diocesan Task Force on Domestic and Family Violence over the past seven years and led the Diocese in addressing this critical issue – including through the adoption of wide-ranging policies and practices for responding to DV in the church. He is a passionate anti-gambling advocate and has also promoted Indigenous reconciliation in Wollongong and through the Synod, including as a member of the Diocesan Social Issues Committee. He was also a central figure in the recent “Jesus is…” mission in the Illawarra. “Sandy understands and appreciates the role of St Andrew’s Cathedral as the central church of the Diocese, as well as having a sense of the community and civic role of a cathedral in the life of the city,” the Archbishop said. “He has a personal appreciation for the music ministry of the Cathedral. Perhaps most importantly he is an able, experienced and prayerful pastor-teacher. “He is well suited to minister to the Cathedral’s ethnically and socially diverse congregation, while also engaging the unique evangelistic opportunity so distinctive of cathedral ministry.” Canon Grant said of the appointment that “It is humbling to have

We offer complimentary pastoral care services. In these uncertain times, it helps to know that there is Christian care available. Home care services range from help around the home to high care nursing support. Over 65 years of age? Call 1300 111 278 or visit 7

We love

Anglicare Op shops Not your ordinary shop… Pre-loved fashion, accessories, gifts, treasures and homewares at affordable prices.


Shop at your nearest Anglicare Op Shop and help your local community.

02 8774 7467

Restrictions lietf d ot allow small ceremonies.

Your wellbeing has a new home

diW ngs back on

After weeks of lobbying, the NSW Government has announced


September 2021

Minto Gardens. Put more life in your retirement. You’ll love the maintenance-free lifestyle of our pet-friendly retirement living community. Move into an affordable, modern apartment at Minto Gardens and be part of a social place, where you’ll make new friends and be supported every day. Anglicare’s Vitality Program offers a holistic approach to helping you live your best life, including two check-ups annually from our Health and Wellness Consultant and fortnightly domestic support. Are you ready to be a part of something wonderful?

Call 1300 111 278 to book a phone or virtual appointment.


that restrictions on weddings have been eased. Archbishop Kanishka Raffel and the chairman of the Diocese’s COVID Taskforce, Bishop Gary Koo, have been making the case to the Government for a relaxation of restrictions. Earlier this month, the Archbishop and Bishop Koo said in a media statement that they were “in regular contact with the Government and health officials and pray for wisdom as they navigate this pandemic and keep our community safe. “We understand their concern about celebrations turning into super-spreading events… But the promises and commitments a couple make are more important than a party afterwards. We are simply seeking to be allowed to have the wedding ceremony so that couples can start their married life together.” In the past week, Archbishop Raffel and other leaders wrote to the Premier and the Health Minister, saying that “the freedom to marry and found a family is an inalienable human right. We believe it is right for wedding ceremonies to take place under similar restrictions that were placed on marriage ceremonies at other times in the pandemic or that are presently imposed upon funerals. “We ask, as a matter of urgency, that the prohibition on marriages be lifted immediately and that marriages be subject to similar restrictions to like gatherings such as funerals.” The Government responded with a statement from Health Minister Brad Hazzard at last Saturday’s COVID briefing, announcing that from Friday, September 3, weddings will be allowed. They will be limited to five guests, plus the couple and those required to conduct and photograph the ceremony. Archbishop Raffel said he was delighted by the announcement. “I thank the Minister for his compassionate response to the real difficulty experienced by people of faith who have not been able to commence their life together by publicly declaring their vows of marriage,” he said. “I’m also thankful for the many couples who have patiently trusted the Lord through this early challenge in their life as his servants. No doubt there will be many more, and they have learnt valuable lessons in faithful waiting.” SC 2 Sark Grove, Minto Please note village residents may need to pay a departure fee before they leave the village.


Recognition as a university college for the Newtown campus.

Nw saus or Moor Cog Australia’s tertiary regulator has recognised Moore

Theological College by registering it in the new “university college” category. The chief commissioner of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), Professor Peter Coaldrake, says the category “recognises high-quality institutions and provides them with new opportunities to develop course offerings that meet the future needs of students, employers, industry and communities. The updated standards also include augmented research requirements for universities”. Moore College is one of the first providers to be registered in the new university college category, along with the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). “Each of these providers demonstrated to TEQSA that they offer high-quality higher education and meet the standards for registration as university colleges,” Professor Coaldrake said. Simon Finn, CEO of Independent Higher Education Australia, described the classification for Moore as “recognition of 150 years of delivering high-quality teaching and research in divinity and theology. Achieving university college status is a great outcome for Moore as they are one of only three foundation entrants to the newly designed university college category.”

“150 years of high-quality teaching”: Moore Theological College. The registration as a university college runs until a review in 2028. College principal the Rev Dr Mark Thompson said, “The higher education landscape in Australia is changing and there is an appropriate concern to maintain and increase the quality of the education experience for students. “Moore College is committed to serving our students with an excellent theological education, which equips them well for Christian ministry in a wide variety of contexts. The announcement from TEQSA is an encouragement to keep doing that and to do it better. We have every reason to thank God for this development.” SC

Looking for Support Coordination under your NDIS plan? We’ve got you covered Anglicare’s expert team of skilled Support Coordinators offer specialised mental health and psycho-social disability support by linking clients to various services to help them achieve their goals. 1300 111 278



September 2021

Celebrate Foster Care Week with Anglicare We are here to support you Start your foster care journey with Anglicare today. Call us on 02 9890 6800, or visit

How the ow rd is going out at Reev sby.

Jchsus isn’sh ftockchd down!

Bible time on Zoom: Lucy Lim and Serena Ung study the word together each week.

Judy Adamson So, we’re in lockdown and it’s harder to talk to people about

Jesus because we aren’t seeing them, right? Yes... and no. St Mark’s, Revesby has had two recent experiences of God’s word going out despite (or perhaps because of) lockdown, showing that while it might be hard to make new connections, it’s not impossible, and we can certainly build on those we already have. Revesby rector the Rev Andrew Lim says a senior member of his congregation – we’ll call her Joan – has been reading the Bible on her balcony in recent weeks, taking advantage of the warmer, sunny weather. Her neighbour – we’ll call her Angela – came onto her own balcony, saw Joan and asked what she was reading. When she said it was the Bible, Angela expressed such interest that Joan suggested they read the Bible together. “So, they’ve arranged to meet regularly on their neighbouring balconies with a cup of tea and Matthew’s gospel,” Mr Lim says. “Everyone’s stuck at home, and they’re socially distanced, but they’re able to still share in the word. “Sometimes you think, I need to hire a big-gun evangelistic speaker to do the job, but often it’s the person who quietly and faithfully perseveres in their life and mission, without fuss or fanfare, that God chooses to work through. “God’s been preparing the way and putting the pieces in place... [Angela’s] son has been praying for her for years without really seeing any interest. Yet God saw fit, at this time when they’re two neighbours in lockdown, to do this work. We’re praying that she will come into a living, personal relationship with Jesus as she gets to know him.” About a fortnight before lockdown began, the parish also had a group viewing of the Equip women’s conference. St Mark’s member Linda Parsons invited her sister-in-law Serena Ung, who travelled to the event from her home on the outskirts of the CBD. Mr Lim’s wife Lucy struck up a conversation with her on the day and says that not only was Mrs Ung interested in finding out more about the things of faith, but she (Lucy) could tell the Spirit was already working in Serena’s heart. 12

Then Sydney was thrown back into lockdown. No problem! Mrs Lim and Mrs Ung met up on Zoom, and Mrs Lim decided to begin their weekly Bible time together by going through Two Ways To Live. She explained each element as they went and, at the end, Mrs Ung said, yes, she did want to live Jesus’ way. Says Mrs Lim: “She already had a desire to trust in Jesus and knew that there’s more to this world, so she had all the things there but just needed it tied together. [After doing Two Ways To Live] she could see that, ‘Oh – he died for my sins’. “Some people feel like they need to know everything before making a decision and I have to say to them, ‘You’ll never get to the point where you know everything!’ But others think, ‘This is right’ and they’re happy to make that commitment earlier on and learn along the way. “We’re reading the gospel of Mark. Serena says that she doesn’t know Jesus that much, so we’re trying to get to know who he is – but she knew enough to make a decision.” Mrs Ung observes that, from the world’s perspective, she already had it all before coming to faith. She had a loving husband, a good job, promotions, a nice home and a beautiful baby girl. Yet she still felt unfulfilled and “didn’t know how to be contentedly happy”. For years she had been encouraged to consider God but hadn’t made the time or effort. Now, she says, “even through this pandemic, I found some light in my life through God... and for that my life is truly fulfilled” – adding, from Psalm 28: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him”. Says Mr Lim, “The Archbishop recently encouraged us all with these words: ‘Jesus is not locked down. His word is not chained’. And here we have two examples of that very truth, to both young and old, to both near and far, that the gospel is not caged. “I’m hugely enheartened, and it is my hope and prayer that in sharing these two stories of how God is working, they will also be of encouragement to others and increase people’s boldness to speak the gospel – even in lockdown!” SC SouthernCross

September 2021

2022 | *$10,990

2021 | $22,350




September 2021


Putting Coronavirus in its place Kanishka Raffel


he so-called Spanish Flu pandemic (it didn’t come

from Spain), which claimed the lives of 50-100 million people worldwide, arrived in Australia in January 1919 and caused the death of more than 12,000 Australians within a year. Most of the victims, like their countrymen who had been fighting in the Great War, were fit young people. So, while it is certainly true that most of us have not faced an event of the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic before, it is not entirely “unprecedented” – a favourite media word of recent times. Jesus said: “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains… And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24: 6-8, 14).


Amid the tremendous upheaval we have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is so good to look to the Lord who is risen, reigning and returning. Nothing takes God by surprise and the ministry he has entrusted to his people remains the same – “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world”. Jesus is not unaware of the suffering of his people in a world of wars, famines and earthquakes. The pandemic has not brought an end to the calamity of decades of conflict in Afghanistan, or the tragic natural disasters around the world in the past month. Closer to home, the lockdown has seen thousands unable to work, attend school, operate businesses or share in the crucial moments of ordinary life – whether celebrating weddings and birthdays or commemorating loved ones in funeral gatherings. Within our own churches, many have experienced all this and more, including some who have been hospitalised with COVID19. I am deeply grateful to God for local church communities and their ministry teams who have laboured so hard to bring the word to others online each week, to create opportunities for prayer


September 2021

Archbishop writes.

online or over the phone; and those, sometimes in partnership with Anglicare, who are serving the practical needs of local communities. Anglican schools have worked incredibly hard to maintain teaching and learning, and many of us are especially prayerful for Year 12 students – in the public and private system – who persevere in their final year amid considerable uncertainty and disruption. “SEE TO IT THAT YOU ARE NOT ALARMED” Jesus warns his followers not to be alarmed in circumstances of social pressure and upheaval. Undoubtedly, in the midst of the pandemic, there have been signs of alarm. Our governments have not moved to restrict the ordinary daily life of Australians in the way we currently experience since the Spanish flu pandemic 100 years ago. In answer to the prayers of many, God has provided several vaccines that are proving effective in protecting the vaccinated from infection and serious illness. We can thank God for it. The more people who are vaccinated, the more protection there is for those who are not vaccinated. There is no reason to think that the Coronavirus is a particular judgement of God. This is a fallen world, not heaven. This is a world subject to decay and disease and death, a world under judgement indeed. But God has not given us a reason to think this is a “special” judgement because of some particular sin. On the other hand, the Bible is clear that the very presence of sickness and death in the world should remind us to reflect on our response to God. It would be supremely foolish to make our way through this pandemic without personally and corporately examining ourselves and repenting of sin.

Have I made plans and set goals without recognising that every day is given to me as a gift from God for the good of others and for his glory? Have I used my time, wealth, abilities to further my own name and interests without consideration of how these might serve God’s purposes and his kingdom? Have I resented this intrusion into my plans as though God owed me something, when in fact I owe him everything and he owes me nothing? In the time of COVID have I devoted any time to serving the needs of others, or have I had only my own needs in view? And, corporately, from what should we repent? As a nation or a city or a church are we thankless, prayerless, neglectful or contemptuous of God’s word, indifferent to the needs of others? Are we self-serving, self-indulgent, self-satisfied? Do we honour our leaders? Do we pray for them? Do we seek to share what we have, do we speak for the oppressed, the widows and the orphans, the powerless and the voiceless, especially in this time when so many are so vulnerable? Have we any concern at all that Jesus should be given the honour he is due? Do we weep over the lostness and hardness and foolishness of our own nation? Do we long for our neighbours to know the love of God, the gift of the Spirit, the royal rule of Jesus? Amid the continuing pandemic, we rightly pray for healing and protection. We pray for power to endure in difficult and demanding circumstances. And we ought to pray “your kingdom come” and “forgive us our sins”. Repentance is the gospel window that Jesus opens – the window that opens to the enlivening breeze of forgiveness and adoption. Not a work of our own, but the gospel’s work in us when, by God’s grace, we respond to the call of the Lord: “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” SC

browse the collection

Featured Author: Patricia Weerakoon Patricia Weerakoon is an Australian Christian sexologist, writer and speaker. Combining secular research with biblical guidelines, Patricia gives advice on topics such as body development and image, sex and relationships, pornography and gender for all ages.

Youthworks Media


September 2021


Euthanasia and a different sort of compassion Christians hold onto the hope of eternal life in the face of death, writes Chase Kuhn.


ecently I read the story of the suicide of Rhys

Habermann. Rhys was a young man diagnosed with bone cancer in his late teens. The suffering he endured was immense, and as the disease spread and required more treatments, Rhys decided to take his own life. He was quite conflicted about this act – particularly as he wanted to be near his family, while at the same time hoping to protect them from the legal consequences of his actions. In South Australia at the time, it was illegal for a terminally ill patient to seek the assistance of a physician to end their life. In the end, risking the legal consequences for being present, his parents were by his side when Rhys killed himself. It is undeniable that the Habermann family endured

LifeOrdered © YOUR LIFE ORDERED — EVERYTHING IN PLACE Undertake an inventory of your legal affairs. Arrange everything comprehensively, in accessible order, in one place. All with the assistance and advice of an experienced Lawyer. Includes: • Home visit (Sydney Metro. only); • Solicitor prepared Will, Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian;

• All documents compiled in one sturdy portfolio / folder for safe storage and easy access.

Fixed Price Per Person

Clergy, churchworker, seniors, veteran, couple discounts available. T&Cs apply 0480 141 950 A service of Gerber Legal


unimaginable grief. This was complicated by circumstances that prohibited them from seeing their son’s final days end the way he desired. Rhys’s parents have made known publicly their belief that their son not being given the option of euthanasia added an extra level of cruelty to their suffering. However, the intention behind stories like these, and so many other extreme cases involving the end of life, is to move us emotionally towards compassion. In fact, one of the major arguments for voluntary assisted dying – or, more accurately, physician assisted suicide (PAS) – is the desire to show compassion. It is often noted that most of the opposition to PAS is from religious people. The troubling question to the sensitive Christian

Daniel Grace Funerals As God is my judge, Jesus Christ is my redeemer.

Partnering with your family and church community in saying thank you. Servicing the southern, western and greater western suburbs. Bradley Sinclair

0418 447 753


September 2021

Is physician assisted suicide a form of compassion?

mind is whether this opposition means that Christians lack compassion. This is the question I hope to answer in this brief essay. Just to note: there are two acts normally associated with ending life in this way: euthanasia – the ending of life by another, as a show of mercy to the one suffering; or PAS – the ending of one’s own life through means supplied by a physician. For simplicity, in this essay we’ll use PAS to describe either mode of ending the life of someone suffering. SELF-AUTONOMY AND CONTROL One of the most important considerations about legal reform and public opinion concerning PAS is the stories told in society. The primary mover of public opinion about PAS is the testimonies of those closely associated with suffering, propagated by those seeking reform. For confused Christians, hearing these stories and hearing the blame placed on the “religious minority” for blocking what the “majority” of the population clearly wants is enough to cause any decent person to have doubts. Let me be clear: these stories are moving, tragic and devastating. But they aren’t the clearest picture of reality because suffering is not the debate’s main concern. If you listen and read carefully, you’ll notice that the major concern for advocates of PAS is autonomy. People deeply desire control over their lives. When someone is terminally ill and all treatment plans have been exhausted, naturally they feel out of control. The main argument for PAS is allowing people choice over when and how they die. Furthermore, it is important to note that a major shift has taken place in this debate: society once sought what constitutes the “good life” and aimed to pursue it together. Now, proposals for “progress” seek opportunity for a “good death” (the literal meaning of the word euthanasia). But do we believe that death features in a “good” life? This desire for control can be seen in our ongoing efforts to establish ourselves: we seek control over every facet of our lives, including our own self-definition. In today’s society, damned be the person who disagrees with another’s beliefs about what is good and right for them. We are authorities unto ourselves, and the greatest transgression in our present age is to deny someone’s opportunity for authenticity – ultimate control over their selfidentification, self-actualisation and even self-termination. But there is a fundamental error in the modern conception of self: a “self” is never one in isolation; it is always socially defined. We are who we are because of the company we keep. We are a brother or sister, husband or wife, mother or father, friend, teacher, cousin and so on. Likewise, we are a leader or follower, companion or loner, trend follower or trendsetter, and so on. We are who we are because of our social interactions. We never exist in a vacuum, independent of other social forces. This social component of our identities is crucial to our retrieval of the concept of what dying well really means. We don’t die alone; we are always suffering, ageing, and ultimately dying, in relationships – even when those relationships aren’t particularly intimate or are strained. This means our choices are never without implications for others. SUFFERING, COMPASSION AND DESPAIR Furthermore, one of the most discouraging components of the fight for PAS is the normalisation of despair. Despair is one of the SouthernCross

September 2021

loneliest places where a person can end up for, in despair, a person recognises no one who can stand with them. Supporting PAS encourages despair and leads people to believe that there is no hope or purpose in suffering. PAS is seen as compassionate because it puts an immediate end to suffering. But true compassion is not capitulation to despair. True compassion is being known in community – a community where we live and suffer together. To be Christian is to belong to a community, to be welcomed into the people of God and to be known most intimately in the local church. Suffering has real place and meaning in this community. It is strange to think that suffering doesn’t belong in life; the Bible teaches that suffering is normative of the Christian life (for example, Romans 8:16-39). In fact, the Bible tells us that, while suffering is not good, in suffering we can experience wonderful things. Paul elaborates on these benefits of suffering for Christian community in his defence of his ministry to the Corinthians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). Paul himself knew suffering of the deepest kind – so great that he “despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8). He was sure he had





reached the end of his life. But in his suffering, Paul could see its purpose: “to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). Suffering has many benefits: first, says Paul, the sufferer comes to know comfort from God. Second, in being comforted, the sufferer can extend comfort to others. Third, suffering engages participation in Christ: those who suffer know him more by sharing his sufferings, and by extension, they know the hope of life he offers. In suffering, we live out our hope of the resurrection. This is the great irony of suffering in the Christian life: we don’t accept or hope for death in the face of pain; we hope for life. SUFFERING WITH HOPE IN FAITH Recognising the significance of stories in our debates about these matters, I want to conclude with one that offers a different perspective to Rhys Habermann’s story. Last year, my dear friend Sam died after intense suffering. After a long battle with cancer, he had endured more than a decade of torturous physical torment – lesions, organ failure, reduced mobility of all his limbs, openheart surgery and so much more. You wouldn’t wish what he went through on an enemy. And yet, Sam’s suffering was imbued with incredible meaning and purpose. He modelled to me and to many people throughout the world what it is to suffer with hope and in faith. Sam’s struggle with suffering wasn’t easy: he didn’t suffer gladly or without question. He often battled with the question of how he could trust that God was good when he allowed such intense suffering. But Sam recognised that the life of faith calls us to believe that God is good, even when life doesn’t feel good. At many points in our lives, believers must take God at his word, even when their experience challenges their beliefs. Faith is not by sight.


Amid his pain and suffering, Sam called upon his brothers and sisters in Christ for encouragement. But Sam offered more than he received: he taught us all about what it is to live with the hope of life, even in the face of death. He longed for his pain to end, but he trusted God in that pain, recognising the limits of his control in his finite humanity. What’s more, as a community, we all were given a chance to reflect on the life of Jesus who lived in faith all the way to his death. The key indicator for God’s goodness, even amid such painful experiences, is the cross of Christ. Without the cross, we don’t know God’s goodness in pain. We all must deal with grief, pain, suffering and affliction. But we have no confidence that God cares about these things without the cross, God’s definitive act to end suffering – especially when our sufferings don’t seem to end. The logic of the gospel is countercultural. We often think comfort comes from the absence of suffering. But the Bible makes it clear in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 that it is during suffering when we know true comfort. Christians don’t lack compassion when they discourage choosing to kill oneself when things get tough; that is accepting despair and a denial of hope. Instead, Christians recognise that true compassion is found in Christian community as, together, we hold onto the hope of eternal life even in the face of death. This promise – even in the worst suffering – is ours. SC

Chase R. Kuhn lectures in Christian doctrine and ethics, and is the director of the Centre for Christian Living at Moore Theological College.


September 2021

Should Christians accept the COVID-19 vaccine? Megan Best outlines the medical and ethical essentials for those still unsure about whether or not to get vaccinated.


he COVID-19 (otherwise known SARS-CoV-2)

pandemic has had a brutal impact on human life and health across the world, with the only current hope of reprieve lying in widespread immunisation against the

disease. There is no doubt that vaccination can be an effective public health strategy to curb the spread of infection. We each have a God-given immune system that constantly protects us against infections. As we are exposed to a disease, our immune system naturally works to both defeat it and provide us with immunisation against a future attack. However, diseases such as COVID-19 can be life-threatening or leave us with serious health problems. Vaccination can help us avoid or reduce the severity of future infection. Vaccines contain substances that trigger our immune systems to respond and develop immunity to a particular disease, without having to actually experience it. Historically, Australians have been protected from many serious diseases through effective childhood immunisation programs such as those against polio and diphtheria. However, for an immunisation program to be successful, a large majority of the population (the Government is currently aiming for 80 per cent) must be vaccinated in order for “herd immunity” to be reached. This indicates that vulnerable members of the population (those who for medical reasons cannot be vaccinated) will have minimal exposure to the infection. Therefore, if many members of the public have concerns about the ethics of vaccination, it could be a serious public health problem. 20

WHAT VACCINES ARE AVAILABLE IN AUSTRALIA? The available vaccines are named according to the pharmaceutical company that developed each one: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax (the last two coming soon). ARE VACCINES SAFE? Australia’s vaccine policy against COVID-19 was originally focused on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has proven to be very effective and is responsible for saving many lives in the current outbreak. It reduces infection and transmission rates of COVID-19 as well as rates of hospitalisation and admission to ICU. All medical treatment recommendations are made by balancing risk versus benefit to the patient. Vaccines, like other medication, can cause side effects. Concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine’s links to a very rare clotting condition last year prompted Federal health authorities to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for Australians under 60 years of age. This recommendation was made at a time SouthernCross

September 2021

An expert weighs the arguments.

when there was not much risk of Australians catching COVID-19 in the community. The balance of risk versus benefit for the AstraZeneca vaccine changed when the Delta variant of COVID-19 reached Australia. Because this variant results in an increased risk of infection and serious illness for all age groups, the Federal Government now recommends AstraZeneca for all adults. Changes in health advice should reassure the public that the Government is responding to the latest research and ensuring that Australians have the most up-to-date information. WHAT ABOUT VACCINES MADE FROM ABORTED FETAL TISSUE? Tragically, the use of fetal tissue from elective abortions is commonplace in pharmaceutical and medical research, and associated with commercial interests in abortion clinics. There are currently no vaccines created by using cells directly taken from the bodies of aborted fetuses. However, all the COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia have at some stage of development (research, production or testing) used a cell line (HEK-293) that was derived from tissue taken from the kidney of a girl aborted in the 1960s. The cell line was developed in the laboratory of molecular biologist Alex van der Eb at Leiden University around 1972. My own view is that the key consideration in whether using a vaccine manufactured using tissue from an aborted fetus is permissible or immoral is whether there is material co-operation with the evil act of abortion. If the abortion were conducted in order to harvest tissues that were to be used for the vaccine, then it would clearly be immoral. But in the case of the COVID-19 vaccines created using the HEK-293 cell line, the abortion was carried out for other reasons, and the tissue was acquired after the child’s


We are committed to strengthening our culture of ‘safe ministry’ through education and professional development of our clergy and lay people, as we seek to maintain the standards of Christian ministry which are grounded in the teaching of the Bible. The Professional Standards Unit receives and deals with complaints of child abuse or sexual misconduct by members of the clergy and church workers. A Pastoral Care and Assistance Scheme is available to provide counselling and other support to victims of misconduct or abuse. The Safe Ministry Board formulates and monitors policy and practice and advises on child protection and safe ministry for the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney.

 Abuse Report Line 1800 774 945 SouthernCross

September 2021

death for the purpose of medical research. The use of the vaccine now will not promote further abortions for this particular purpose. It can therefore be argued that we are not morally complicit with the original abortion. It could also be argued that to refuse vaccination (in the event that only an unethical COVID-19 vaccine was available) would also be wrong, as it increases the risk of prolonging the pandemic, with its illness and loss of life, and is not a loving way to treat our neighbour. When comparing the competing ethical obligations of avoiding the vaccine in view of the wrong done in the past or refusing to protect the vulnerable in society today, it could be argued that the latter is the more immediate responsibility. CONCLUSION On weighing these arguments, while recognising that this is an issue of individual conscience – and in the absence of an ethical vaccine (one that does not involve fetal cell lines at all) – Australian Christians are encouraged to accept vaccination on grounds of loving their neighbour, and contributing to the public good. Even though an ethical vaccine is preferred, the remoteness of the evil that led to the fetal cell line makes it more important to avoid contributing to further spread of the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, Christians should continue to call for the ethical production of all vaccines and a ban on future scientific research utilising fetal cells derived from elective abortion, in an effort to halt the trade of human remains. SC Associate Professor Megan Best is a research associate with the Institute for Ethics and Society at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. She has a clinical background in palliative medicine.


The centre for all information about our churches and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic in faithfulness to God and love of all people. • IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS • ARCHBISHOP’S UPDATES • PRAYER


How to get more people to watch your livestream

Zac Masters


eople are on social media… a lot.

I’ll prove it to you. If you have an iPhone, go to “Screen Time” and see how much time you spent on social media last week. The average is seven hours. That’s more time than people spend in church and small groups combined. So that should tell you what a huge opportunity we have to reach people with the gospel in this space. One way to get more people to your church livestream is to make content that, first and foremost, is valuable or interesting to the viewer. You could make short invitation videos that position the 22

livestream as a great way for a person to dip their toes into church. Or think of how your sermon is going to solve a problem in your listeners’ lives and make that the key drawcard. Or get someone to share the story of their first time at church and how Jesus changed them. Whatever you do, keep the viewer top of mind when making the video. Keep it short (less than a minute). Start strong and connect to the viewer in the first sentence. And, most important of all, make sure there is a clear invite to watch your livestream and tell them where to do it. The next step is to get the video in front of as many people in SouthernCross

September 2021

Practical tips for churches.

your local community as you can. There are two great ways to do this. First, post the video to Instagram as a Reel or an IGTV. Then, after you post it, share it to your own “story” and ask your followers to share it in their stories. This will get your video shown to the friends and family of people at church. Posting as Reel or IGTV is important because these autoplay when shared in a story. This then lets you show an advertisement to the people who saw some of your invitation. Why is this important? Well, that brings us to the second way to get your video out. There’s some detail but stay with it – it’s worth the effort! Go to “Ads Manager” on Facebook and make an ad with your video invitation. When you make your campaign, choose “Video Views” as your objective. Then, in the “ad set”, choose your audience. You can target people in your local area as well as people who viewed at least three seconds of the video you posted to Instagram (you’ll need to create a “custom audience” in Ads Manager to do this). Showing ads to people who have viewed your videos is great because it’s more likely they’ll be willing to watch more and even tune in to your livestream.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE WATCHING? So, you’ve got people coming to your livestream. Great. But now you need to know if they’re staying long enough to hear the Bible message about Jesus. Each livestreaming platform (Facebook, Youtube, etc) has its own way of showing live video analytics. If you get stuck you can always do a Google search to find a step-by-step guide. Here’s how it works for Facebook: • head over to the Creator Studio • look at the number of highest concurrent viewers • look at how many total people watched for at least three seconds, and how many watched for at least a minute Attention span is a precious commodity online, so while three seconds might seem a ridiculously short amount of time, people who watch for at least three seconds of your stream have a proven interest in what you have to say. However, if you have a huge drop-off between three seconds and a minute, then you have work to do. SC Zac Masters is the Head of Social Media at EV Church on the Central Coast. You can download his free eBook for more ways to use Instagram to attract and make disciples.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR LIVESTREAM MORE ENGAGING It’s a hard pill to swallow, but church services were not designed for livestreaming. They just don’t work well. With an inperson service, you have the benefit of people sitting in their seats. Online, however, people are far more easily distracted. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your church service format. Just update it! Here are some ideas: • Reduce your sermon length by 20 per cent. It may kill you to not go deep in your sermons but, in this environment, you might just have to lighten the load for a time. Pray to God that he brings us back to in-person as soon as possible. • Create short segments. Long, uninterrupted segments can lose people. So keep your segments short, change them often, and don’t be afraid to try new things. • Have two MCs. One MC is kinda boring online. Find two people with good banter and get them to have a conversation together.

• Tell stories. People love stories. They’re engaging. So get your MCs to have fun, light-hearted conversations about their week or something they both find interesting. • Ask questions. Ask your church questions and get them to answer in the comments of the livestream. This will help people feel part of the conversation. • Offer a Q&A. A great way to get people to stick around is to give them a reason. If they know they can ask questions – and they need to stick around to the end to hear the answers – they’re much more likely to stay engaged for longer.

A Family Owned Funeral Service

Visit our official site for the latest news and information. Or sign up for the weekly newsletter. SouthernCross

September 2021

Hamilton Funerals is a family business owned and operated by Adam and Michael Flanagan. We aim to fulfil the needs of our clients in the most dignified, professional yet personal way.

North Shore 9449 5544 l Eastern Suburbs 9326 9707 I Northern Beaches 9907 4888 23

Instagram account helps parents to raise disciples Tara Sing


orh hgu

a emag fo Sinom Sa,sy heaL ane KcM wsoh

r e h r e lo d t w o h ’ s e u J e l s p i c d e d w o l f m i h d n a e d y b o h i s o c m a n d s . A a g m e o f S n a p , u s i n g t h e j oe kr a s a n l a - i m g h t y t r u p m c ad r, e h l p s e h r o t d l e r o t s e u t r n d a t h a J e s u i s m o e r p wo e r f u l a n d i p m o r t a n t h a n a n y t h i g e l s . y P i l an g e h i d d n a s e k e r t h o g c e s o r i n f e t h i g b e a i d o f e t h l o s t pesh dna wsoh woh God dsen Jesu ot hcsear or f us. esTh ear just a wef of eth esamg dna tiveacs sMr acKenM s h e a r o n h e r I n s t a g r m a c o u t n , a R i s n g D i s c p l e , w he r s h e d o c u m e t n s w h o s eh et a h c s B i b l e t r u h s o t eh r o y u n g h c i l e d n r . A s I n s t a g r m i s a p o u l a r p l oa t r f m o r f u s e r o t s h ae r p i c t u e r s d n a ,soe v di s’ti a t ae rg y a w ro f s rM a n eKc M o t yl usv a i e hs ra re h easid with eroth ums. d n A s ’ e h y l n i r a e t c e r a w f o e h t e d n , es u a c b n e h w e h s e d o l k ro f ae s di ro f re h nw o ,s o rel h c p e hs d nuo f t y nelp fo ec s uo r o rf p r i m a y - e g d c h i l d e r n , b u t n o t m a n y o rf p e r - a d s . S h e a l s o k n w o s l ie f i s b u s y a n d t i m e i s o t e f n t i g h – s o , i n ce ra t i n g cesour or f erh ly,iam f esh pse k eth hingeact lseriatm ple.sim y M “ l a o g a w s o t e k a m t i a e y s s ue a c b f i u o y e v h a o t e r a p o t u m h c o y u ’ l e n vr d o i t , ” s h e s a y w i t h a l a u g h . “ I l a w y s h c o s e tiveacs tha had no per ed.lvo in yingaPl Simon ysSa sn’ti tha , e v i t a r c t u b f i u o y e i t t i o t e h t g i b a e d i f o a e a p s g u o y n ca h c a e t ethinsomg ” e.tcron s r M a n e K c M s i o n r e n g a t s o t n i t r wg s m a r g o p d n a n i h g c a e t 24

biblical concepts to young ones, having worked in children’s ministry at Northmead Anglican for several years. When she became a stay-at-home mother almost ffve years ago, she wanted to make teaching the iB ble to her kids a priority. Then she decided to share what she had created to help other mums. She says young children are capable of more than we think they just need to be shown and taught. We [sometimes] think that kids couldn’t learn Bible verses o by heart, but then they know 10 dinosuar names o by heart! Why can they do that, but not the Bible? rM s cM eK nna hopes her two children, as well as the children of other believing parents, will grow to be adults who love Jesus and actively serve his kingdom. This is the goal in mind as she works out what to teach. The goal with this age group is a lot of memorisation and instruction, she says. We’re laying a foundation. If you know where you’re going, it helps you to know what to do today. Do you want your 20 year old to come to church? Then bring your four year old! If you have an 18-year goal to have your kids love Jesus, know the gospel, share the gospel, obey God, how are we going to get there? Parents can be at a loss because no one knows what they’re doing. But today I can teach him one thing about Jesus, and tomorrow I can teach him one more thing about Jesus. SC SouthernCross

September 2021

How to run a great youth group online

Hannah Thiem


n our first week of online youth, we planned to play an

oneinl eamg ledca . It aws a lot of unf – of r eth kids who wer able ot log on! Uonf rtunaely, one mebr of our org pu at’nws elba ot , dna pstne 02 estunim nigetsl ot a emag enwh esh oc uldn’t e tak part in it. As Sydeny’s lockod wn oc tinues, oy uth ogr ups cna opr veid a edn-hcum os ecur of ,pihsdnerf olef wpihs dna oc oitcen n of r our er’ W os lufknhta tha erht si a yaw oy htu org spu nca oc tinue etinmg urindg sthi soi tingal e.tim Y e t w e ’ r a l s o co mp e t i n g w i t h a t - h o m e d i s t r a c i o n s , n o t to oitnem n eht tca f tha ynam of our oy htu era psnigde oh sur hcae kew on ohcs ol oZ om .slac erH era os em spit of r ngite eht om ts out of oy ur onenil oy htu org ,pu orf m os oem en ohw onk ws thwa ti elsf e ikl enwh it og es owr ng!

A QUICK GAME’S A GOOD GAME W hen it comes to Zo om, les is moer. eT n s naturl y have a shoret oteina n span than adults. Ad ot tha a wek of online inglear dna eth les etivacrn iuemd of a Zoom etinmg, dna a igb part of eth letab si pinge k eth kids ed.agn With tha in imnd, oc nsiedr how oy u can meak the time les ensdbour em on oy ur kids’ otiena n. Thsi ightm look eilk pyliang esmag tha ovni evl nigte pu out of t,sae tha od t’n eruiq hcum ltaemn geynr dna wshitc uiqlyck ofr m one or udn ot eth xent. It oc dlu osla naem ngviha a ohs ret thgin kniht( one oh ur rehta nhat 90 es)inutm dna ingudlc hetc“sr dna ack”sn THE BIBLE SHOULD BE EXCITING, TOO Rather than having kids tune out while the talk is hap eni g, oc rendis oh w oy u nca pleh meht eagn retb htiw eht og psle yb making Bible etim e.tivacrn oY ur oy uth can darw or act out part of teh ost ry, do a Kahoot about the stor y or eky vers , or write notes on a whiteboard with answer ot uesqoti ns. Teh sperak can escnr shear unfy pi ctuers, play a erlvant oY uT be clip, or use items for m their oh use ot egiv na obtjec leson. SouthernCross

September 2021

IT’S TIME TO GET CREATIVE Running a great youth group online also means a bit of thinking outside the box. Don’t feel restricted to the usual Kahoot or trivia night. There are plenty of ways you can keep games exciting. Here are some fun ideas we’ve seen: • Scavenger hunt – find objects lying around the house; first person back wins • – a Pictionary-style game with some added fun features • Make your own “would you rather” slides – get kids to indicate which side they are on and why • Baking or craft – give everyone the instructions (using items most people should have at home) and create it together • Brain training – get competitive with timed challenges like Memory, Boggle and Scattergories • Codenames Online– a game which caters best to an older age group • Box of Lies – based on a Jimmy Fallon segment where the group guesses if someone is lying or telling the truth about a strange object in their house • Drama games – two truths and a lie, 20 questions and one-word stories can all work online • Music trivia – get kids to guess the name or artist of a song

Z o om also has some great tools such as emoj i reactions, backgrounds and breakout rooms which can all be used to create a more interactive talk. Online ministry can sometimes feel awkward and frustrating, but we all need a reminder that while our world is different right now, the gospel is unchanging and its message has eternal signiffcance for those we are caring for in ministry. SC 25

Five people share Bible verses that have helped them in lockdown.

Turn to the word in times of trouble

Back to the source: (from left) George Kazogolo, Kaysia Younes, Jodie McNeill, Deb Gould and John Batten talk about Bible verses that encourage them right now.

Judy Adamson


ncouragement from the word is helping us all in these

strange days, so we asked five parish staff from across the Diocese to share with us what verses from Scripture are giving them comfort and strength from the Lord. “This takes us to where we should be as Christians: back to the Scriptures,” says the rector of Westmead, the Rev George Kazogolo. “If there’s anything I can think of that gets me through it is the word of God – in particular, the psalms. The psalmist cries out to God in desperation... you realise that he is wondering, ‘Why am I so down?’ But he realises it’s got nothing to do with doubting God, it’s just his vulnerability. “In times like this it really forces us to go back to the Lord and express how fragile we are, and recognise that we’re not as in charge as we think we are.” Psalm 23 is where Mr Kazogolo has turned most recently, finding encouragement in the psalmist’s unshakeable trust in God when life is good as well as difficult. “‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death’ – that’s an acknowledgement of hardship,” he says. “It’s reassuring knowing the Lord is there with me, though I may not understand and sometimes life doesn’t make sense. But he is with me, which really gives me comfort.” Kaysia Younes, an MTS worker at Hope Anglican in Leppington, has turned to Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness”. She finds that concentrating on the daily mercies and compassion of God “is such a helpful way to not be consumed by the uncertainty and the fear in this time... to be focusing on the character of our great God. That’s been really encouraging to me”. The verses that have spoken most to Jamberoo rector the Rev Jodie McNeill have been from Psalm 91. “It’s the only psalm that 26

really talks about plague and pestilence,” he says. “The psalm tells us to trust in God and the plague won’t get you, which is great – but how does that work, because I’m sure Christians have got sick! “We need to think of life with a heavenly perspective. People will suffer and go through all sorts of trials, but if we see it with a heavenly perspective that is our ultimate comfort – we find our dwelling place in the Lord.” The membership pastor at St Paul’s, Chatswood, Deb Gould, is helped by God’s constant call in the Old Testament for Israel to remember him and his ongoing goodness to them. Her choice is Psalm 62:5-8, because in those verses the psalmist reminds himself (and us) that God alone is his rock, salvation, fortress and refuge. “This lockdown is really difficult for many, and these verses are a call to arms: telling myself to remember so that I can then help others to remember,” she says. “I just love how God puts within the psalms things that are so relevant to us today.” Over the past two years Maroubra’s assistant minister, John Batten, has found great encouragement in the words of 1 Peter 1, that through Jesus’s resurrection we have hope and an inheritance in heaven that can never “perish, spoil or fade”. He says that amid the worries of COVID last year, “there was a sense of hopelessness and nothing to look forward to for a lot of people I was speaking to in the community. Yet for fellow Christians I spoke to, these verses were a great reminder that it’s actually going to be okay – that no matter what happens we have something far better to look forward to. “That’s not dismissing the trouble and pain of COVID and lockdown, the impact on family life and people losing family members, but we have a far greater thing to look forward to than the end of lockdown!” SC SouthernCross

September 2021

We know the rescuer


John Lavender

we f

seray aog a ,pihs eht nerG ,y liL asw thguac

i n a fe ro c i o u s s t o r m o f t h e c o a s t o f E n g l a n d . ering Su omfr engi e,urlai f eth ship aws tingdrf dsarwot eth ockyr e.inloastc A Coast dGuar teboaifl a s w t n es o t e u c s r e h t w e r c , t u b n i e h t t n e l o v i , m r o t s h t i w e r t m - 0 1 esvaw pingdou eth esl,v it ouldn’tc etg elongsida eth ednastr ship. e hT ne rG y l iL e s c r u t e h ew . c r W i t h t e h o r s m t a r g i n , a e h l i op t r c w h i m c n a , SouthernCross

o s n n a r . d n u o a r g A r e t p o i l c h a sw t h g u o r b n i o t September 2021

iB ll Deacon, volunteered to be lowered to the ship. He would attach a winch to the crew who, in their terrifying circumstances, would be raised to safety one by one. Braving huge waves and gale-force winds, Bill Deacon made sure that each member of the crew was rescued. Sadly, with the last man in the helicopter, a huge wave washed Deacon into the ocean before the winch could be lowered one last time. The next day his body was found, and he was posthumously awarded the George Cross medal for bravery. 27

D e o a n c u . Y r s f i n t e h l o p c r . L k i n g w d o , uy s e a h u e g w av s h i m o t n he ra g i n o c e a n t f r he e.ouifrldyhavs

Imagine oyu aer on f the sip’ cewr scued yb Bil

Having exp rienc d such a erscu, oy culd envr b t h e s a m e . oYu w o u l d l i ve w i t h co n s t a n g r a t i u de a n d t h a n k f u l e s o r f t h e m a n w h o s a e v d oy u r l i e f , s p e c i a l y oces.printhfwl’d w H o uh c m e r i s t u e a s w o n c e i r d J s u ’ t a g r e r s c u o f u s – h i s e d a t o n t h e co rs i n o u r p l a ? c e W h n e w s J u o , n t h c r i m y pa l e ; u J e s u ’ s a c r i a l e d t h o n t h e c o r s w a s n o a c i e d nt o f ory.Itsthi orus. eflvahiwbc D e s p i t h a c f n o e u s h a le o d v G a s we ho u l d , e d s p i t h e a c f t h a i n s o m e w a y e ch o f u s h a s e r b l d a i n s t g G o d , r h m n it e gs l J u o v t i y n r e a m o r f s u n g i c e y b v o l s i h ed r p s u J d n A . w i t o h u G d y b i n g o te h s c , r a k i n g o u p s h t m e omGd.Thyfrainugwt samzing! J o n a t h n E d w a r s , t h e g re a t 1 8 t h C e n t u r y A m e r i c a n p er a c h r , d e s c r i b e d t h e l o v e o f J e s u a s b e i n g v a s t a n d om”.tesrbingad“uhwc This a leovtha cnegs rvything! It is teh gar orld.ewyfthsin ItPa Aplethosnauic m einshacrul 2 Coritnhas 5. Inserv51 w se hoPaul isvonced, f u l y p e r s u a d e , t h a C h r i s t ’ l o ve t o k h i m t o h e c o r s a n d , i n h i s d e a t h a n d er s u er c t i o n , m a e k s a v i l b e t h i s r o f – se n v i g r o f t i g l u r e d n o w s i h t – e v o l r a yn d t x e . h t i a f d n e c p t r i s u J o n t d l w h o p s y r ea ButPauleodsn’itva.hyNf m o r f p e l a s w n m o s l a t i , u m r o n f sa t e J tpe.snivrc ad In evsr 18-20, Paul oges n ot say tha s Christan we h v a b n m e d “ C h r i s t ’ ba m do, s t h u g G o d e m a wr k i n g h s p l o u e t r ” – g i n p e ol t b e r oc n i l d ot G o d a n d ot e r c i v a n d a c e p t h i s a m z i n g C o n s ie dr a g n t h e w c dr k s h i p , t e beronthsip.awmcu,yC w , N o vh i a n g e b s c u d r y t . m S eryvthinsg!awJuco n e h b a si u o r Y . y f e i d h a J s u . o y v l p a i d o r u . f e Y c n l o t G d o uh gr J e s . a Y r er.aokbs-wGdt’mcChi Butlaso,nceirdths; our wld is on thasip. People kro w uO .sd nei f yl ma uOr .pihs t no e ra w k leagus.Thoc eploinub.rInc oueam.rTht leayr o G . td u h i w n y r e a p s g f o , h i r e n d ThThup.eakbrotsihpe ua rsivle e no ht w k W .n amh c iw e t onk ,r b me t Y y l u f r e a p n c u o y d A . s e J w o n k W . m e h t v sa n c o h w o , t y e h s u J o t m e h c u d r n i o t e s p u r of l k yhim.edbvnsca

TheRefortecidnasvhLJ es.hcwCurdNnalimgEv


Don’t forget the kids KaHrtley

I Green Lily . If oyu


n recent weeks, once again, domestic violence has become

a conversation piece within the church. In light of the Anglican Church’s national research project into intimate partner violence (IPV), several articles, blogs and social media posts were devoted to understanding both the significant incidences of IPV within the church, as well as examining our own practices and policies. These are important conversations and, of course, at all times we must have them, keeping in mind those victims who have lived this horror on a daily basis. In the June edition of Southern Cross, an article referenced several comments from Archbishop Raffel and me reiterating the Sydney Diocese’s position that there is no place for abuse within any marriage, especially Christian marriages. The article also observed the extensive and important work our Diocese has done in the development of policy and other resources, all the while recognising the need for our churches to continue to care for and support those suffering in this way. I hope you might take the time to go online to the safe ministry website now and have a look at the various resources available there. Since the release of the national report, I’ve had a number of conversations with women who have got in contact with me to share their stories. I don’t know these women, but they have bravely shared details of their experiences of abuse. One story stood out for me in particular – not because the abuse was worse than any other, but because it reminded me of the far-reaching impact of domestic abuse. The woman I spoke with detailed abuse that occurred across the generations in her family. She was deeply affected and scarred by SouthernCross

September 2021

One in four children are exposed to domestic abuse.

abuse that occurred between her parents, which was also directed toward her and her siblings. The siblings then treated one another abusively. She spoke to me about her own grief when she heard that the national research was only focusing on intimate partner abuse. She told me that, again, she felt like her experience didn’t really matter. As we developed our diocesan policy in 2018 we were aware of family violence. As we spoke to victims of abuse we were mindful that the impact of a husband’s rage or coercive treatment of his wife (for example) had effects that filtered throughout the whole family. Research tells us that children can be the direct victims of an abusive parent. While most of our work on the taskforce has been directed toward abuse between spouses, in truth it’s impossible to disentangle the family into such clear demarcation. All of us who have lived in families are aware that whatever is going on between parents, both good and bad, will impact children. Of course, parents work hard to protect children from the everyday ups and downs they face. Yet when it comes to abuse, this is less likely. Sometimes this will lead to a mother (for example) feeling a lot of guilt that she can’t protect her children, or may even prevent a wife leaving her husband for fear that this will put her children into even greater danger. I am not an expert in this area but as I listened to this woman’s story it was clear that the impact of her parent’s abusive relationship and the abuse directed to her was still having an ongoing effect. According to the Family and Community Services website, one in four children are exposed to domestic abuse, and domestic and SouthernCross

September 2021

family violence is the leading cause of homelessness in children in Australia. As a Church we know some of the most vulnerable people in our midst are children. It’s hard to overstate the ugliness of abuse, and knowing that it has such dramatic effects on children is heartbreaking. Yet we have both a gospel of hope and strong engagement with children in our churches, and this means we can have a positive impact in this space. Recently Anglican Youthworks, in conjunction with Anglicare, produced a four-week program called Before It Starts. This course is aimed at preventing abuse by helping young people build healthy relationships with one another, as well as helping educate them to understand the dynamics of abuse within families. The stories I’ve been told in this past month or so have reminded me of the particular care of God for the weak and vulnerable, especially the widow and orphan. Jesus had a special welcome for children. I’m reminded, too, of the precious hope of the gospel for victims of abuse – not just spouses, but children as well. The gospel of the Lord Jesus brings healing and hope for those who bear the wounds of others’ sin. The gospel of the Lord Jesus brings both justice and love (Rom 5:12-20, Eph 2:3-5). The precious message of the Bible teaches us that God hates oppression and loves and cares for the weak and vulnerable (Ps 72:4, Ps 103:6, Ps 146:7-9). As we continue our conversations about domestic abuse, let’s not forget that children are victims as well. SC

The Ven Kara Hartley is Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry in the Sydney Diocese. 29

Clergy moves.

wN had or oY uhworks Cog

Former graduate steps up: the Rev Mike Dicker at Youthworks College. On August 2 the Rev Mike Dicker became principal of Youthworks College, where he has been a lecturer and dean of students since 2018. Mr Dicker also studied at the college and was one of its first students to graduate and, later, enter second year at Moore College – where he subsequently completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology. Mr Dicker had no thoughts of applying for the position of principal when the previous head of the college, the Rev Dr Bill Salier, announced he was leaving. In fact, he says, his initial reaction was, “I’m quite comfortable doing what I’m doing!” However, he adds, “When enough people say, ‘You should do this’ – and especially Bill, having worked with him... he’s got a very wise head on his shoulders – that encouragement was a very good prod towards this direction.” Of the future, he says: “We’re really keen to continue building the partnership between the college and local churches so we can get more trained children’s and youth ministers in local churches. That’s always the goal and we’ll probably explore new avenues for that... but, in the end, everyone wants a children’s and youth minister, and everyone wants a well-equipped children’s and youth minister! So that’s really what we’re trying to do – make sure we can recruit and train and send as many as we can.” Dr Salier says he is “very grateful to God” for Mr Dicker’s appointment, adding: “Mike brings faithful commitment to the Lord Jesus, competence as a leader and creativity in his thinking to the role... He has a wealth of experience in youth ministry and is full of ideas about the effective training of workers the Lord raises up and sends into the vast and significant harvest field of youth and children’s work. I am excited about the prospects for Youthworks College under his leadership.” 30

Mr Dicker is particularly keen to partner with churches in regional areas through Youthworks College online, so students can learn remotely but serve locally. “I’m excited by the continued opportunities that Youthworks College has to keep equipping people in local churches to do effective children’s and youth ministry, and deepen their knowledge of God through his word,” he says. “Bringing those two things together is one of the important things Youthworks College does really well. It integrates good practice and good theology and I’m keen to see the college continue to do that for the next 21 years!” The rector of St Mark’s, Berowra VACANT PARISHES since 1999, the Rev Ian Millican, will become Archdeacon of the List of parishes and provisional parishes, vacant or becoming New England on October 5, with vacant, as at August 30, 2021: the specific role of assisting • Ashbury** • Liverpool Bishop Rod Chiswell in the day- • Balmain* South • Menangle to-day running of the Diocese. • Berowra • Mona Vale Mr Millican leaves Berowra on • Cabramatta* • Paddington • Camden September 17. After 24 years of ordained ministry, the Rev Ross Maltman will retire as the rector of MiltonUlladulla on October 19. An assistant minister at Toongabbie Anglican, the Rev Murray Colville, will become rector of St Hilda’s, Katoomba on November 8.

• Cherrybrook • Cronulla** • Eagle Vale • Figtree • Greenacre* • Huskisson** • Keiraville • Kellyville • Kingswood

• PeakhurstMortdale • Pymble

• Rosemeadow* • Toongabbie • Ulladulla • Wahroonga, St Paul’s** • Wilberforce

* denotes provisional parishes or

Archbishop’s appointments ** right of nomination suspended/on hold


September 2021

Poonsit tanvc dna eds.clai




St Andrew’s Cathedral Chapter seeks an Honorary Treasurer. The position reports to Chapter, liaises with the Dean of Sydney and is aided by a Bookkeeper. The Treasurer is responsible for oversight of the Cathedral’s finances, preparation of accounts and budget. The position requires a qualified accountant who is able to commit to a minimum two hours per week. Costs and expenses would be reimbursed. Enquiries can be directed to the Cathedral Administrator, Lisa Wilmshurst:


CHILDREN & YOUTH WORKER (part-time 3 days)

We are seeking a suitable person to help develop and grow the children and youth ministry at the Cathedral. This role will seek to strengthen the families of the Cathedral as well as reach out to others through the discipling of children and youth. The right candidate would ideally be servant-hearted, committed to personal godliness, and be teachable and willing to contribute to a ministry team. A degree or diploma-level qualification from an evangelical theological college or a teaching qualification is preferred. A detailed job description can be found on the Cathedral website: Enquiries should be directed to Dr Malcolm Gill (Assistant Minister)



The Rev John McDonald died on June 9, aged 86. Born John Edwin McDonald on March 14, 1935 in the Sydney suburb of St Marys, he undertook an electrical trades apprenticeship and worked in the industry until he entered Moore College in 1956 (although he kept an electrician’s licence for most of his life). After his initial ordination in 1959, Mr McDonald married Kay Cornwell, then worked as a curate at St Luke’s, Mosman and the parish of Parramatta North before becoming rector of Stanmore in 1963. In 1967, he became rector of St Basil’s, Artarmon – a position he held until he retired 29 years later. At Mr McDonald’s funeral his family, in a joint eulogy, said his faith was “firm and abiding and, as a priest, he was pastoral and empathetic. At the same time, his sermons rarely went by without at least one exploration SouthernCross

September 2021

of an aspect of the Greek text”. Mr McDonald had a 30-year asso ciation with the NSW Ecumenical Council, and his considerable financial acumen was put to good use in parish and as a long-time director of Sydney’s Anglican Provident Fund. This included time as vice-chairman, chairman of the benefits committee and a member of the finance committee. Mr McDonald was a Fellow of St Paul’s College at the

University of Sydney from 1990- HOLIDAY LETTING 2004, and for many years was a KIAMA: Very comfortable 2 bed unit opp beach, with water views from balcony, lift NSW Government appointee to access, dble garage, accomm 4. Ph (02) the Macquarie Park Cemetery 9579 4573 or and Crematorium Trust. MISCELLANEOUS The family eulogy said that, in MOBILE LAWYER: Philip Gerber, LL.M., M.Crim., Dip.Bib.Stud. 33 yrs exp. his later years as a member of St James’, King Street, he enjoyed 0408 218 940 theological discussions with clergy and fellow parishioners. “As he would say, (quoting one of his old rectors) ‘God doesn’t ask A Christian lodge in the heart of Southern Alpine Lodge A Christian lodge in theproviding heart ofis the SnowyCross Mountains us to leave our brains outside athe Christian lodge in Smiggins Snowyaccommodation Mountains providing quality and when we come to church!’” Perisher Ski Resort in1963 theand NSW quality accommodation hospitality since Kosciuszko National hospitality since Park. 1963 ATION They felt one paragraph from M R FOOctober Snow season June C TS ST IN to the Ordination Service for FromSnow AFFE E SEE TEincluding LA -1to9 October season June $72 per day 3 meals daily E S D I H A V E T RSeason after COBird and GE . P3L meals FO Low$72 Earlyincluding Multi-Night OWday LOD From daily Deacons best summed up his ASON INEdiscounts N Hper E P S O L 1 A 2 S Low Season after Early BirdO and Multi-NightSdiscounts 0 S 2 R E W TH ministry and approach to life: ERNC Autumn, U/NE Spring And Summer, OUTH .COM.A SAnd Spring FromSummer, $37 per Autumn, day self-catered Be a pastor after the pattern From $37 per day self-catered of Christ the great Shepherd... Be a teacher taught by the Lord in wisdom and holiness. Lead the people of God as a servant of Christ. Love and serve the people with To advertise whom you work, caring alike for in Southern Cross contact: 8860 8850 or young and old, rich and poor, weak and strong. 31


Lennox lets rip on Jesus questions Robert Forsyth Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science


his documentary features the work of John Lennox,

emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, and a prolific writer and speaker in defence of the reality of God and the truth of Christianity. Lennox has also been one of the leading Christian critics of the New Atheist movement, which flourished in the decade after 2006. In conversation with American actor Kevin Sorbo, Lennox rehearses his major argument against the New Atheists and for the Christian faith. The documentary is enlivened by the way the ongoing conversation is filmed with the backdrop of significant sites – first at Oxford University and then in the Holy Land – and by the inclusion of excerpts from some of the debates Lennox has had with many of the leading New Atheists. We see Lennox answering the mild questions of Kevin Sorbo and rebutting the aggressive objections to theism offered by Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and the like. The documentary could have easily been titled The Best of John Lennox. The first half is set in Oxford and covers Lennox’s approach and his reasons for becoming so actively involved in such debates, as well as the main arguments he advances for belief in God. His debt to C.S. Lewis and to his own father, who encouraged him to be unafraid to question his Christian faith, are evident. Lennox comes across as an enthusiastic and courageous, almost fearless, advocate of the reasonableness of belief in God, who has more than the measure of his famous atheistic opponents. It is an impressive and, to me at least, convincing performance. The second part of Against the Tide moves to the Holy Land and

deals with the question of Jesus and the Christian faith. Here the backdrops of the Sea of Galilee, Caesarea, Philippi, Mount Tabor and Jerusalem itself almost steal the show. Lennox is far less convincing and Kevin Sorbo a little too easily persuaded. This section is not without value but is hindered somewhat by Lennox’s lack of expertise in first-century history and the ongoing historical Jesus debate. This is an area where someone like our own John Dickson, for example, has much more to contribute. However, the documentary ends with a warm and clear statement of personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that is hard to fault. It is interesting to ask who the target audience for this documentary might be. It runs for nearly two hours and its length mitigates against any but the most interested unbeliever persevering – unless they have someone to help keep them watching. On the other hand, Against the Tide can play a helpful role in encouraging believers to persevere in the faith, especially if they are troubled by the kind of New Atheist arguments Lennox deals with so well. The time of aggressive atheism is passing, partly due to the overreach of the New Atheists themselves and partly due to the pushback exemplified by the likes of John Lennox. But at least the New Atheists thought the question of the existence of God and the cogency of the Christian faith was important. The biggest threat to the Christian faith today is coming from those who don’t care about the questions at all – not atheism, but “apatheism”. Against this, new and very different strategies will be needed. SC Bishop Rob Forsyth is an assistant minister at Church Hill Anglican.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.